Seth Rollins is undeniably one of the most popular wrestlers in the WWE. Even when he was playing the role of a despicable heel, the Architect was winning fans over with his all-around skill in the ring and on the microphone, and he was just one of those wrestlers whom fans “loved to hate.” His recent face turn made him beloved in and out of the ring once again, and given his incredible popularity, WWE fans in Chile were stoked to be at his autograph signing session on Thursday. Thing is, they appeared to be way too stoked for their own good, as the Rollins event quickly degenerated into all-out bedlam.
According to a report from BioBioChile, the autograph signing event at the Costanera Center in Providencia was “planned in advance,” an assertion other sources have disputed. Hordes of fans were gathered near the mall’s Ripley branch, hoping to get a glimpse of Seth Rollins and get an autograph from or pose for pictures with the WWE Superstar. But as seen in video footage from the signing, it didn’t take long for the crowd to lose their patience and overwhelm security guards assigned to keep things in order.
Pro Wrestling Sheet‘s Ryan Satin reported on the Chilean chaos not long after it happened, citing sources who suggested Seth wasn’t able to get much autograph signing done at the event.
“Sources tell us Rollins was only able to sign autographs and take pictures for ten minutes before the crowd excitement became too much and the former champ had to leave the Costanera Center.”
Satin added that the Costanera crowd “continued to cause a scene” and began looting when Rollins had left, but also noted that there have been no reports yet as to whether anyone was injured.
Another report from SEScoops shed more light into the chaotic Seth Rollins event, saying that the event was, despite the claimed advance preparation, “poorly organized” considering the large number of fans that had wanted to meet and greet the Architect.
“Some fans began skipping the line and fights broke out,” SEScoops wrote. “Someone managed to steal Rollins’ hat, (and) Rollins left early due to safety concerns as fans began looting and destroying things in the store.”
Seth Rollins has yet to provide comment on the incident on his official Twitter account or other media. He did, however, give a shout-out to his Chilean fans earlier on Thursday, saying that the first night of WWE’s house show series in Santiago attracted one of the top 10 crowds he’s ever witnessed as a wrestler. That show had Rollins teaming up with Sami Zayn to defeat the tag team of Kevin Owens and Luke Harper, in a match that also happened to be Harper’s first in-ring appearance after being sidelined with injury for the past seven months.
With the Costanera riot having been quelled, everything appears to be all-systems-go in Santiago as WWE prepares for the second night of wrestling action in the city. Fans appear to be quietly getting ready for the event at the Movistar Arena and posting selfies and photos of the show on social media, and there haven’t been any further reports of unruly behavior in relation to the show or any WWE wrestler.
Based on the first- and second-hand reports on the Costanera Center riot, it looks like the mall’s officials have some serious explaining to do. While one cannot condone the actions of the fans at the autograph signing, better planning could have prevented things from getting out of hand. May it be a big name like Seth Rollins or Roman Reigns or a lesser light like Darren Young or Titus O’Neil, fans are bound to get excited, and inevitably impatient, belligerent, and/or unruly if these events aren’t planned properly.
[Featured Image by Getty Images/JP Yim]